Christopher Columbus
Public DomainChristopher Columbus

Christopher Columbus (c. 1451 – 1506), an Italian navigator, is generally referred to as the “discoverer of the Americas” for the first of four voyages he made to the New World for Spain in 1492. Although preceded by the Norse under Leif Ericson by a good 500 years, Columbus initiated regular contact between Europeans and the indigenous American peoples.

This portrait of the explorer was painted by the Florentine Ridolfo Ghirlandaio (1483-1561). It was executed in the first half of the sixteenth century, about 1520, after the death of Columbus. The artist never lived in Spain  and probably never met the admiral. It is displayed in a showcase of the Museum of the sea and navigation of Genoa, "It Padiglione del Mare e della Navigazione."

Under “Woman,” the first item in the “Short Dictionary of Misunderstood Words,” Sabina does not at first grasp that Franz is expressing a value rather than a fact when he admiringly calls her a woman, which on the surface seems glaringly obvious and unworthy of the sort of seriousness with which one might announce the discovery of a new world.